Let s take a quick look at one final episode from the life of David. This takes place later on in David s life, he s probably in his 60 s.

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April 10, 2011 – David, week 9 – Conclusion, a life of worship

Today marks the 9th and FINAL Sunday we’ll be devoting to the Biblical story of David, learning from him to live a life of worship.

Even after 9 weeks, we’ve really only scratched the surface. If you want to dig deeper, let me recommend a few books to you:

- “Leap Over a Wall” by Eugene Peterson

- “A Heart Like His” by Beth Moore (both available today at Thrive)

- and, let me especially recommend one more book to you. It’s called the Bible. David’s story is in the Bible! It begins in the book of 1 Samuel.

And… you know that Bible reading schedule that we’re following as a part of

Radical? Guess where it starts tomorrow morning? 1 Samuel! (how cool is that?!) So – if you’re a little behind in your reading, this is a great time to catch up.

If you’ve totally dropped out on the Bible reading, or never really got started, tomorrow is a great point for you to dive in to this, at the beginning of 1 Samuel. My prayer is that God would use the time we’ve spent studying David’s life to enrich your Bible reading over these next weeks.

--- Let’s take a quick look at one final episode from the life of David. This takes place later on in David’s life, he’s probably in his 60’s.

Remember how, because of his sin with Bathsheba, God told David that the sword would never depart from his house?

David must have wondered what that meant. In his later years, he found out.

David had multiple wives (which apparently was culturally acceptable, but was not according to God’s instructions), and he had lots of children.

David doesn’t appear to have been an especially great father or husband. He seems to have gone through seasons when he would become detached & uninterested. And as he did, “the sword” showed up in his house.

There was all sorts of conflict between David’s children.

One of David’s sons – named Absalom – actually killed one of his own half-brothers. Absalom then fled the country because of this, and was gone for several years.

Eventually, Absalom was able to return, but he was estranged from David, and they were never truly reconciled.

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As the years went by, David’s popularity among the people began to diminish a bit. Absalom, however, was very handsome and clever, and he became highly regarded. He was also very ambitious, and he began to undermine David’s authority.

The Bible says that, “Absalom stole the hearts of all the people of Israel.” (2 Samuel 15:6) While David was being lax, Absalom began to form a conspiracy against David. He developed a large following, & eventually Absalom gathered an army & marched on Jerusalem, intending to overthrow and assassinate David - his own father!

Now, David did NOT want to battle his own son,

nor did he want to see the city suffer damage & casualties.

So David gathered the men still loyal to him and quickly fled Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 15:14

David said to all the men with him in Jerusalem, “Come! We must flee, or we will not escape Absalom! Leave quickly, or he will overtake us and bring disaster on us and strike the city with the sword.”

2 Samuel 15:23

King David and all the people crossed the Kidron and then went out into the wilderness.

And suddenly, after all those years of success and prosperity, David once again found himself on the run, in the wilderness.

How does a person cope with this?

I mean, it’s one thing to be hunted in the wilderness by a lunatic enemy.

But this time, it’s not Saul who’s after David. He’s being hunted by Absalom! - his own son! - who has betrayed him and is out to murder him!

We’ve come to expect David to respond well to adversity.

But that doesn’t happen automatically, does it? Suffering doesn’t necessarily make us better, in fact, tough times can easily make us worse.

David could have become defiant and bitter and given up on God. But he didn’t. Back in the wilderness, where so much of David’s character had been formed, we find him recovering his life of worship.

In fact, David wrote Psalm 3 during this time. Psalm 3 is subtitled:

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Psalm 3

O LORD, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me.

Many are saying of me, “There is no deliverance for him in God.”

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me,

My glory, and the One who lifts my head. I cry aloud to the LORD

And He answers me from His holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep; I wake again for the LORD sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people

Who have set themselves against me.

Salvation belongs to the LORD!

These are the words of a man who had seen adversity before.

David had spent years in the wilderness, running for his life, not sure what the next day would bring. And he trusted in GOD, and GOD delivered him.

And he knew that, if God did it once, God could do it again!

David was confident in God, because David had a history with God!

To make a much longer story very short – Absalom went out with an army to hunt David down, and (Absalom) was killed in battle.

David was devastated by Absalom’s death. It sounds like David blamed himself. But, ultimately, David returned to Jerusalem and was restored as king. (and he showed a lot of grace to those who had not been loyal to him during this revolt.) Then, as you keep reading in 2 Samuel, suddenly the writer inserts a psalm. Chapter 22 of 2nd Samuel is basically identical to Psalm 18.

Now, David wrote this when he was a much younger man.

But here he is, an older man, once again singing these words to GOD.

Perhaps with new meaning on this day - because Psalm 18 expresses so much of David’s lifelong journey with God, David’s personal history with God…

2 Samuel 22 / Psalm 18 (selected)

I love you, O LORD my strength.

The LORD is my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,

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I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

In my distress I called upon the LORD; From His temple He heard my voice,

He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He delivered me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.

They confronted me in the day of my distress, but the LORD was my support.

For You, O LORD, are my lamp;

The LORD my God illuminates my darkness. For in Your strength I can run through an army;

by my God I can leap over a wall. How do you become THAT person?!!

How do you become somebody who says things like that to God, (and means them!) How do you become someone who worships God like David does?

I think David can help us answer that question, with a few of his own words: I have set the Lord continually before me…

I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned.

I will hope in You continually, and will praise You more and more.

You have been my confidence from my youth,

and I still proclaim Your wonderful works, even when I am old and gray Think about David’s journey, from youth to old age.

Think about the incredible history that David had with GOD! For 40 years David had been King over Israel.

For 10 years before that he was a fugitive in the wilderness, on the run from Saul. Before that he was a locally famous warrior and a musician in Saul’s court.

As a teenager, David had met Goliath in battle and slain him.

He first came to our notice when, as the youngest of Jesse’s 8 sons, he was pulled out of the sheepfolds in the Bethlehem hills & anointed as the future king of Israel.

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That’s quite a trip! And, you know what?

Through every bit of this, David was always dealing with God. Always focused on God, dependent on God, worshipping God.

Whether David was being chosen as the future king, Or being chosen to deliver snacks;

Whether he was protecting his father’s flock, Or protecting the nation of Israel;

Whether David was running for his life before Saul, Or dancing with all his might before the Lord;

Whether he was repenting for his sin with Bathsheba, Or extending the kindness of God to Mephibosheth;

Whether he was a king on a throne, or a fugitive in a cave, FOR DAVID, IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT GOD!

We tend to live life with God “in the background” – assuming He’s even in the picture at all. And maybe we pull God to the foreground once a week for a little while, or when we get into some serious trouble, but pretty soon we push Him back into His place, in the background of our lives.

David doesn’t live like that. David lives with God always in the foreground,

always at the center. To David, God isn’t just IN the picture, God IS the picture! David believed in God, thought about God, imagined God, prayed to God,

worshipped God.

The largest part of David’s existence wasn’t David at all – it was GOD! David was immersed in God.

To David, God was personal and present and required a response. ---

I think one of the most meaningful things I’ve learned from David’s story is to take my own story more seriously.

Seeing God at work in the details & the complications & the circumstances of

David’s life, helps me to realize that God is also alive & active in the circumstances of MY life. I begin to realize just how God-shaped my story is.

No detail is insignificant. No circumstance is outside of His reach.

This is what it means to live “a life of worship” – when every detail of life is lived with GOD in mind; with His glory as our purpose.

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David’s “life of worship” wasn’t about being poet or a musician. David “life of worship” was about knowing God intimately;

about paying attention to God and staying devoted to God all along the way. ---

In a moment, we’re going to sing a worship song called “Made Me Glad.” It’s a song we sing a lot here. The chorus says:

You are my shield, my strength, my portion, deliverer, My shelter, strong tower…

This song borrows a lot of words from David, and they’re great words. Hopefully, you can relate to many of these words.

But, in the middle of “Made Me Glad,” we make some space for

“spontaneous singing,” for you to sing your own words from your heart to God. You see, when David worshipped God as his shield & strength & deliverer, we know that those words came from his heart,

because those words reflected David’s journey with God.

Who has God shown Himself to be in YOUR journey with Him?

What’s going on in your life right now that you want to worship God for?

Maybe you want to worship Him as your Father, or your Healer, or your Provider. Maybe out of the Radical emphasis you’re responding to God these days as your Master, as your Guide, as the One you follow…

And, if you’re coming up blank here, if you really can’t think of anything,

ask yourself why. Is it possibly because you’ve got God pushed into the background of your life?... I know that this “spontaneous singing” can be a difficult thing to do, because of our pride. But you know what? It doesn’t matter what it sounds like to your neighbor. Just imagine how sweet it sounds to your God.

Whether our words this morning are written or spontaneous, let them be words of genuine worship.

Not sung just from our mouths, or just from our heads, but with our whole beings – heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Let it be worship from a people becoming more like David;

people who have a history with God;

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PRAYER

Father, we don’t want to just mouth words of worship to You,

we want to live LIVES of worship for You. We want to live with YOU in the foreground, with YOU at the center,

with everything that we are focused on YOU, devoted to YOU. Father, You are a great and faithful God,

& we are so blessed to know You & to be loved by You & to walk with You, to experience Your intimate involvement in the details of our lives. Help us to respond to You, this morning, with genuine, authentic worship,

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